The 9-Year-Old Idea That Continues to Change Lives: Happy Birthday BiggerPockets!


Have you ever needed help with something and couldn’t find the answer?

Well, like the rest of you, I experienced this very problem.

And 9 years ago today, I set out to create the solution to that very problem.

I was a buy and hold real estate investor who had purchased a few properties out of state, and I was dealing with lots of problems thanks to poor property management. I didn’t know much about being a landlord, but assumed that as an intelligent college graduate, I could figure it out on my own.

For the most part, I was right.

Unfortunately, there are lots of little things in the real estate investing business that can trip you up, and the only place to really learn about them is through experience. Well, I was getting experience, and it wasn’t good.

A Solution to My Woes?

Realizing that going at it alone wasn’t working, I set out to the bookstore and library and rifled through book after book, hoping to find resolution. I found a ton of great information in these books, but unfortunately, the questions that I had weren’t answered.

I then went online and started searching on Yahoo and Google for answers….

And I found a handful of sites that focused on real estate investing. I was ecstatic! I was finally going to get the information I was looking for, but my mood quickly changed as I began to dig in.

It appeared that there was a catch to these sites.

While there was some solid information, it seemed that there was a sales pitch around every corner.

Growing up in New York, I’m sensitive to someone trying to pull wool over my eyes, and I wanted nothing to do with the guru scene. So, I did what any good entrepreneur would do.

BeFunky_null_2I created a website that would solve the problem that I faced — I created

For the first few years of BiggerPockets, I continued to work my day job (teaching high school special education) while investing in real estate at a distance and pursuing BiggerPockets only in my spare time. However, several years ago I began to realize the tremendous value BiggerPockets was bringing to the world and decide to leave my day job for a more-than-full-time commitment here on BiggerPockets.

Fast forward a little bit . . .

BiggerPockets Turned 9-Years Old Today!

I can’t believe that it has been 9 years since the day I opened up my site and waited for someone to show up. I think aside from my brother, I was able to convince a small handful of people to come and check it out that first day. The site was basic — a forum and a directory of resources, but there was something very different about BiggerPockets.

This site wasn’t going to be about selling guru products and services. It wasn’t going to be about promoting their events. In fact, I didn’t want people using the site to market “education” at all. BiggerPockets was going to be an alternative to the status quo — I was going to create a place where people could learn about real estate without the pitch…

In a world where such a thing didn’t exist, I faced an incredibly difficult uphill battle.

But after sharing my vision with our small group of initial users, they began to spread the word. There was something special about my idea — and other investors wanted to tell their friends about it.

A New Vision for Real Estate Investors

Josh DorkinBiggerPockets was going to be a community where investors could share knowledge, could mentor one another, could network, could do deals, and could feel comfortable — a place where they could call home and not worry that someone was always trying to pitch them on something.

Well, that vision has come through in spades!

Over the past 9 years, we’ve seen over 15 million unique visitors come through our virtual walls. We’ve heard from countless members about deals that they have done, about money they’ve saved, about jobs they’ve quit, about colleagues and friends they have made, and so much more — all thanks to BiggerPockets.

We’ve been featured in the press in over 50 major news publications, on television and on radio.

We put on the first 100% no pitch real estate investing conference last year for over 350 attendees, and there are now over 30 local “unofficial” BiggerPockets meet up groups around the country.

And our 10 month old BiggerPockets Podcast is the highest rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes.

We’ve changed countless lives. We’ve been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce, if not more, and we’re only just getting started.

So here’s to BiggerPockets on her 9th Birthday! She has challenged me. She has exhausted me. She has excited me. She has made me who I am today, and has done the same for so many others.

Thank you BiggerPockets and Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday BiggerPockets

Photo: jbhalper

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. Josh, your story is incredible! I also didn’t know you were a teacher. How long after you started BP were you able to go at it full time?

    You definitely have created the greatest RE education tool available online!

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Hey Nick – I quit teaching after 2 years, but the site wasn’t self-supporting for some time beyond that. Remember — our revenue model was purely advertising for a long time — we never partnered with the gurus, which would have made us an incredible amount of money. It wasn’t about fast cash, but building a sustainable and ethical business.

  2. Happy Birthday!! I’m definitely one of those whose life has changed thanks to the resources available on BiggerPockets

    um, I should probably specify……. changed for the better 😉


  3. A true labor of love. A toast to all of the hard work that Joshua and Brandon put in behind the scenes, and to everyone in the community who regularly contributes on this site and makes Bigger Pockets the go to site for real estate investing.

    Here’s to many, many more.

  4. Josh,
    I didn’t find this sight until I had already learned in the dear school of experience, but every day I am finding answers here to questions I didn’t know to ask. Thank you.

  5. Happy burfday!

    It’s amazing what you and your team have been able to accomplish Josh. I’m sure the number of lives you’ve positively affected through BiggerPockets is just as astonishing as the numbers you’ve listed above.

    Here’s to your continued influence and success! I’m glad I can be a part of the community.

  6. Thanks Josh! ” You’ve come a long way Baby ” Happy Birthday!
    You are the Best! Many Happy Returns !!
    For sure you have created the ” spark ” that
    resulted in Happy Returns for many over the
    the ” Whole Nine “! Best for Success!

    Bob Brubaker

  7. Congratulations! I can’t put into words how helpful this site has been for me. And the vision for your model has made it such a unique and incredible resource, whose leaders are sincere and filled with integrity. SO refreshing!

    Thank you!

  8. Josh,
    Congrats on the Biggerpockets anniversary. Can’t wait for next year’s 10th anniversary blowout in sunny [fill in the city]!

    Thanks for keeping your mind open to what this site could become beyond your original intention. You have created a virtual real estate “think tank”.

    It also allows me to indulge in my weird, cult-like fascination with my interest of tax liens and find kindred spirits who like to discuss this niche investment topic.

    To 900 more years!


  9. Carolyn Lorence on

    Happy Birthday BiggerPockets and congrats on your success! Thank you for “birthing” this community site, taking the mystery out of real estate investing with the generous sharing of knowledge, and raising the bar for all other REI groups. You bring an incredible amount of integrity and trust to the investing world!

    Thanks so much!

  10. Pingback: BiggerPockets Turns 9 - GeekEstate Blog

  11. William Shaffer on

    Only a little under 9 years too late did I find this site but hey better late than never.

    Thanks for the hard work and the community you created with your great vision.

    Found lots of great inspiration here.

  12. Patrick Hockersmith on

    Congrats Josh this is my new favorite website every question i have had i have found an answer. love the pod cast and beginners guide you’ve built an amazing community. thanks

  13. Thank you Josh for creating the site! Countless lives have been changed due to all the hard work over the years. We appreciate you, Brandon and Biggerpockets very much. Happy Birthday and to many more years of wisdom sharing. Awesome!

  14. The fact that you have taken the time to answer just about every single persons comment on this blog speaks volumes to the type of person running this site. Thanks so much for this awesome site. I look forward to gaining more and more knowledge every single day. Well done and happy birthday BP!

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Hey Jacob – My intent is to respond to everyone on the post — hopefully I didn’t miss anyone. I try my best to make BiggerPockets the best site online for people looking to better their lives and I hope we can continue to do so well into the future. I appreciate the message.

  15. Shariyf Grevious on

    Congratulations Josh, Brandon and the rest of the BiggerPockets staff, I discovered this site googling FortuneBuilders when I was at an event…and it is because of this site that I discovered that one of the trainers is a psychopath and actually FORCED himself to cry about a personal story at EACH EVENT he presented.

    Thank You for making such an awesome community that has saved so many people lives financially ……..thus saving them spiritually

  16. Michael Lemieux on

    Congrats Josh!
    Happy birthday to your baby. Before you know it, she’ll be driving the car and staying out late. : )

    Wish you many, many more. Great job. THANK YOU.

  17. I haven’t been around (as an REI) for 9 years…but I’m glad BP is here NOW and I’m glad to have found it! I’m looking forward to the years ahead of learning from, connecting with, and hopefully contributing to the BP community! Happy Birthday and congratulations BP!

  18. Josh,

    I am so glad you had this vision. I have been a part time real estate investor for almost a year now. I too, started out searching for info on the internet, and found out every site was trying to sell you the guru stuff. I bought into a few things, thank goodness not for too much money, but soon discovered it is not as easy as they lead you to believe. I became very leary of every email people sent me. My trust level was at a all-time low with anything about real estate investing on the internet. I decided I was not going to spend another dollar on guru stuff. Then low and behold while surfing the net one day I stumbled onto BiggerPockets. I thought to myself “let me see what these guys are pitching”. Well needless to say you all pitch nothing BUT awesome information and great advice. I love the podcasts and look forward to reading your emails!! Please continue keeping on and I wish you much success in your RE investing future. BiggerPockets ROCKS!! Charlie-VA

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Thanks for sharing your story, Charlie, and I appreciate having you here as a user. Please jump in and use the site for anything and everything you need . . . and keep listening to the podcast — there’s always something to learn!

      Spread the word about BP . . . we’re here to help!

  19. Nice tribute, Josh!

    It’s amazing how time flies the older we get. I remember BP in its infancy stages, it’s amazing how much its grown! Sometimes I reminisce about the core group back in the old days; definitely a lot of interesting discussions and stories.

    Great to hear of it’s success. I know it’s definitely been a long ride for you yet something you enjoy doing. Having a strong mission statement and sticking with your true intent for the site sounds like the recipe to your success. Sometimes in the midst of all the hustle and bustle (whether it be personal or business), we forget “why” we started things in the first place. Yet, this “why” is what helps to fuel the passion and persistence.

    BP continues to be a place for folks of all ages and levels to gather and share their experiences and perspectives. There’s something for everyone here making BP what it is today.

    Happy Birthday Josh and BP! 🙂

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Hey Rachel – I prefer your tribute back . . . awesome! The core group has changed over the years, but the central belief of those in that group never does. This community is all about collaboration for the success of all involved and that’s something you rarely find in a community.

      Thanks for being a part of this place!

  20. Happy Birthday Bigger Pockets. Your site is an oasis in a sea of hard sell. Most web sites try to sell you something in a manner reminiscent of a crack head in need of another hit. Bigger Pockets has a more gentle approach. Keep doing the things that have made you successful and may you have continued success.

  21. Happy Birthday! This site has almost single handedly changed the direction of my life. It has shown me that although the world of real estate investing will most definitely be filled with challenges, there is endless information and a ton of support available here. It has been THE catalyst for me to take the first step towards my new career, and I will continue to come back to gain more knowledge and inspiration.
    A big thank you to BP!!

  22. Alexander Lloyd on


  23. Happy Birthday Bigger Pockets! As a new (freshly new, lol) aspiring real estate investor (under 30) I must say that Bigger Pockets has been a wonderful guide to helping get my business started. I wish Josh and Brandon all the best and much success. Many more birthdays to come 🙂

  24. Happy Birthday BP, thanks to you countless people have pursued and fulfilled their dreams in real estate. All while not getting pitched anything along the way [unless they wanted to in the PRO members forum 😉 ].

    Here’s to another 9 years…Heck, let’s make it 90!


  25. Happy Birthday! I just signed up! How did it take me 9 years to find you? Hopefully you wil continue to touch the lives of people for many years to come. All the best! Thomas

  26. Congrats to the entire BP team and community! Josh, your run down of the site’s evolution was great. It’s always cool to read about the “process” of making something as successful as your site.

    9 years old is a significant milestone….what’s that in dog years?!

    Anything special planned for the big 1-0?!

  27. Happy belated. Even though I discovered this site very recently, I do feel at home here because there are so many people that think the same way I do. I get so much needed support here, please continue doing what you do. Till 120.

  28. Congratulations Joshua Dorkin and the entire BP Team! Awesome site as I have said many times and love the sense of community and support. Most importantly – your dedication to truly educating and inspiring investors of all levels.

    Here’s to 10 more years and beyond!
    David Thomas

  29. Happy Birthday Bigger Pockets! And congratulations Josh! My life is one that has changed for the better because of this site. I am so grateful to this community. I have made some fantastic connections here and I appreciate the honesty and integrity with which you run Bigger Pockets.

  30. Happy Birthday, BP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Congratulations! This forum still rocks and has only gotten better what with the quality of the veterans and newcomers, alike.

    All the best,
    Anthony aka ROIGuy

  31. First of all, Thank you for having such a vision. Bigger Pockets is an invaluable resource to everyone in the real estate field from newbies to pros. There is something for everyone and you created one place to find it. Thank you for showing us the right way to do things and for granting us access to resources, tools and people of integrity. I can’t forget to mention the podcast…it’s awesome. Wishing you continued success. Woo hoo!!!

  32. Great great resource for both knowledge and community. Thanks for the creation of and the wonderful management of the site. Congratulations on the success so far and here’s to the continued success to come.

  33. You did an awesome job Joshua. I am not new to real estate, but I don’t have tons of expierance either. I have found many tips, ideas, and answers here. I also have had my own ideas and notions confirmed and or disproved here. This website has proven to be one of my best resources and I truly thank you!!
    Ralph Ramey

  34. Happy B-day Josh,

    Been here with you off/on thru the years… Haha, remembering the cheesy afro-emoticons and all.
    You have done a GREAT JOB here Josh! Speaking for myself… THANK YOU!!!

  35. Rhodaline Arthur on

    A year ago, i applied for a loan from the bank and was turned down because i am younger and don’t have enough work experience. I found out about seller financing on BP and I now have my first seller financed duplex under contract which is scheduled to close next friday!! Go BP!!!!! . Thank you so much Josh!

  36. has it really been 9 years?! I first landed on this “little” site with help of google in 2008, took me a while to realize I kept on coming back for more. Great job BP team and of course the BP community that makes it great. cheers

  37. Congrats on this milestone! This site and the podcasts are truly motivational! Thank you for having the vision and perseverance to create and stick with it. It’s great to have a place for the “free” exchange of ideas and knowledge.

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